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North Worcestershire Water Management

Bromsgrove | Redditch | Wyre Forest

Guidance notes: Flood defence consent Ordinary Watercouse

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Please read through these guidance notes and the application form carefully before you fill the form in. Under the Land Drainage Act 1991, you need consent if you want to;

  1. erect any mill dam, weir or other obstruction to the flow of any ordinary watercourse or raise or alter any current obstruction; or
  2. erect a culvert in an ordinary watercourse, or
  3. alter a culvert in a manner that would be likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse.

These guidance notes will help you fill in the application form and provide the documents we need to support your application.

If filling in a paper copy of the form and you need more space for any of your answers, please use separate sheets. Make sure that you clearly label each sheet to tell us which question it applies to.

It is important that you fill in the application accurately and that any supporting documents you provide, including drawings, maps and calculations, are clear.

If you do not provide all the information we need, this will delay your application or cause us to turn it down until we have all the necessary details.

Please be aware that the Authority can only consent works on ordinary watercourses. For works on main rivers an environmental permit is required from the Environment Agency. Main rivers are watercourses designated as such on main river maps (held by the Environment Agency) and are generally the larger watercourses.

The following watercourses are (partially) classed as main Rivers:


  • Arrow
  • Battlefield Brook
  • Spadesbourne Brook
  • Sugar Brook
  • Salwarpe
  • Gallows Brook


  • Arrow
  • Swans Brook
  • Wharrage
  • Wixon Brook
  • Bow Brook

Wyre Forest

  • Severn
  • Stour
  • Blakedown Brook
  • Riddings Brook
  • Hoo Brook

Notes to assist application and submission

1. Applicant’s details

The name of the individual, organisation or company applying for the consent should be given along with the name, address, email address and telephone number of a person who can be contacted to discuss the proposals.

2. Applicant’s interest in the land

We need to know what interest you have in the land where the works will be carried out (for example, whether you are the landowner or tenant). If any work will be carried out on land that you do not own, you will need permission from whoever owns the land.

3. Agent’s details

Agents acting on behalf of an applicant should enter details. If this section is completed, all correspondence will be sent to the Agent. Leave blank if not applicable.

4. Pre-application advice

The local authority may be able to offer (possibly for a fee) pre-application discussions before a formal application is submitted in order to guide applicants through the process. This can minimise delays later in processing the application.

Pre-application discussions can also help you and the authority identify areas of concern about your proposed development so that you can give consideration to amending your proposal before the application is submitted. The advice and guidance given to you at the pre-application stage is given in good faith. However, it does not guarantee or supply a definitive undertaking as to whether your proposal is likely to be acceptable.

If you have received pre-application advice from the planning service, please indicate the reference/date of any correspondence or discussion and the name of the officer. This will assist the Council in dealing with your application as quickly as possible.

5. Location

The name of the watercourse as shown on the Ordnance Survey map should be given if known (many minor watercourses are unnamed). Please be aware that the Authority can only consent works on ordinary watercourses. For works on main rivers an environmental permit is required from the Environment Agency.

The location of the proposed works should indicate the nearest town / village, the address of the site or sufficient description to enable the site to be identified easily.

The OS grid reference should include two prefix letters, (indicated in the corner of OS maps) followed by the eastings and northings e.g.: SO 848 797.

6. Description of the Proposed works

It is important that you accurately describe the proposals for the application being made. Please tell us the purpose of the works and the number of structures you need consent for.

7. Plans and sections

To consider your proposals we need to receive plans and drawings, drawn by a competent engineer or surveyor and showing Ordnance Datum Newlyn (the height above sea level).

You need to provide one copy of all relevant drawings. The drawings must not be larger than A0 size, and they need to include the following;

Location plan (mandatory)

This must be at an appropriate scale and be based on an Ordnance Survey map. It must clearly show the general location of the site where the proposed works will be carried out and include geographical features and street names. It must also identify the watercourse or other bodies of water in the surrounding area.

Method statement (mandatory)

Needs to set out how impact upon the water environment will be mitigated. The statement needs to set out how flow will be maintained during the works and how pollution of the water environment from all pollution sources and pathways [including silt, cement, concrete, oils, chemicals, herbicides, aggregates contaminated land & waste materials] will be prevented.

Site plan (general arrangement)

You must provide a plan of the site showing:

  • the existing site, including any watercourses;
  • your proposals;
  • the position of any structures which may influence local river hydraulics, including bridges, pipes and ducts, ways of crossing the watercourse, culverts and screens, embankments, walls, outfalls and so on; and
  • existing fish passes or structures intended to allow fish to pass upstream and downstream;

The plan should be drawn to an appropriate scale, which must be clearly stated.

Cross sections

Where works encroach into any watercourse, you should provide cross sections both upstream and downstream of the proposed works. Cross sections should be drawn as if looking downstream on the watercourse and should include details of existing and proposed features and water levels.

Longitudinal sections

Longitudinal sections taken along the centre line of the watercourse are needed. These must show the existing and proposed features including water levels, bed levels and structures. They should extend both upstream and downstream of the proposed work.

Detailed drawings

These are to show details of the existing and proposed features such as the following;

  • The materials to be used for any structures.
  • Land surface contours.
  • The location of any proposed service pipes or cables which may affect the future maintenance of the watercourse.
  • Details of any tree, shrub, hedgerow, pond or wetland area that may be affected by the proposed work.
  • Details of any planting or seeding.
  • Dams and weirs. (We need a plan showing the extent of the water impounded (held back) under normal and flood conditions so that we can assess the possible effect on land next to the river. The plan must also show any land drains likely to be affected).

8. Construction details

Please state whether the works are to be permanent or temporary and the anticipated construction date. If works are to be temporary, then please state the required duration.

For any temporary work, we need to know how you are proposing to carry out that work. The ‘method statement’ you send will need to include details of the specific measures you plan to take to keep disruption to a minimum and reduce any unwanted effects while the work is being carried out.

We need to know when you are proposing to carry out the work and how long you think it will take. When you are planning the work you need to make sure that you have allowed enough time for us to consider your application.

9. Materials

There are materials that have the potential to leach out into the watercourse, where it may lead to pollution. We therefore would like to know what materials you propose to use for the structure, bank protection etc.

10. Planning approval

Some works may also require local authority planning approval in addition to consent from the Lead Local Flood Authority. If you already have planning approval, please indicate the name of the planning authority, application reference number and date obtained. Please note that a planning permission does not exempt the need for a consent for works on an ordinary watercourse and vice versa.

11. Maintenance

We need to know who will be responsible for maintenance both during the construction work and after the work has finished and what this maintenance will consist of.

12. Hydraulic Impact of works

Before a consent for works on an ordinary watercourse can be issued, we will need to consider the impact of the proposed works on flows and its effects in the watercourse and its floodplain.

Depending on the exact nature of the works the applicant therefore needs to provide information on the:

  • impact on channel capacity, floodplain and flooding problems, both upstream and downstream of the proposed works;
  • resulting variation in water levels and corresponding effects on land drainage;
  • effect on the channel, bank stability, scour and deposition; AND
  • impact on existing structures in, or adjacent to, the watercourse;

You might want to consider seeking advice from a professional body. .

13. Site visit

Access to the site (i.e. where the works are proposed to take place) may be required by the case officer. Please provide contact details in the event that an appointment needs to be made. This will assist the Authority in dealing with your application as quickly as possible.

14. Checklist (only applicable for paper copies)

Tick the relevant boxes in this section to tell us what documents you are sending with your application.

15. Declaration

Please sign and date your application.

Application charge

The Authority is authorised to charge an application fee in relation to the required consent. This fee is payable to cover our costs for examining the proposals.

The amount of the fee is £50 for each application form submitted (VAT is not applicable). Card payment will be required when submitting an online application.

For paper copies cheques should be made payable to “Wyre Forest District Council” with “NWWM consent for works” quoted on the back of the cheque. If you wish to pay by card over the phone please contact us for further instructions.

How to obtain consent

When you have fully completed your paper copy application form please send it with the fee and supporting documents to:

North Worcestershire Water Management,
Wyre Forest House,
Finepoint Way,
DY11 7WF

If you have completed the online form then this will automatically be emailed to us.


Upon receipt of an application the authority has two months in which to grant or refuse consent. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.

The granting of consent should not be regarded by the applicant as in any way approving the design and soundness of the proposed structure other than in relation to its impact on flows and its effects in the watercourse and its floodplain. You should be aware that consent may be refused if the works proposed might have detrimental effects to the environment.

Right of appeal

If you believe that consent has been unreasonably withheld or conditions unreasonably imposed then you have a right to appeal.

Further information

If you are in doubt about whether you need to apply for a consent, about whether or not the watercourse is an ordinary watercourse or not, how to complete the application forms or any other aspect of your application please contact the North Worcestershire Water Management team via 01562 732191.

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